author img

Michał Kloczkowski

How to transfer sales from Marketplace to your own online store? A practical guide

Differences between selling on a Marketplace and your own e-commerce platform

In the world of e-commerce, many businesses start their operations by selling on marketplaces, but for various reasons, they decide to build their own online platform. This transition can be driven not only by brand development but also by economic aspects such as increasing margins, often limited by marketplace fees. Moreover, having your own online store allows for fuller control over customer data, which is crucial for effective marketing and building long-term relationships. It's worth noting that not all sellers transitioning to their platform are single brands. Many of them are multi-brand sellers looking for better ways to reach their specific target group and offer a more diversified assortment. In this article, we will look at the various reasons for moving from marketplace sales to your own e-store, highlighting key operational and strategic differences, as well as potential synergies that can result from this step.

Maintenance costs: Subscription-based platforms (SaaS) vs. self-hosted store

Running your own online store involves various financial and operational challenges, depending on the chosen model - renting a ready-made platform (SaaS) or setting up your store (self-hosted).

The SaaS (Software as a Service) solution is like renting a ready-made e-store. It features lower initial costs and a regular subscription, making it attractive for smaller businesses or those with a limited budget. It is ideal for companies with a small product catalog, planning to sell mainly on the domestic market, and for those who do not require advanced custom features. The advantages include lower maintenance costs and ease of management, but it should be remembered that development and customization possibilities are limited.

The self-hosted solution involves creating your store from scratch. This option is suitable for companies that have already achieved significant sales volume on marketplaces and are looking for additional channels for further growth. It is ideal for stores with a large product catalog, needing advanced customization (e.g., product configurators), or planning international expansion. Although the initial and maintenance costs are higher, the ceiling of possibilities is much higher, and in the case of systems such as Magento 2, practically unlimited.

It is important that the choice between SaaS and self-hosted is dictated by both the current needs of the company and development plans. Proper scaling and budget planning are crucial to avoid unexpected expenses and maximize growth potential.

Data protection and security in e-commerce

Additionally, when choosing the self-hosted option, it is necessary to take care of aspects related to security and data protection. This requires investment in professional security solutions and regular system monitoring, which also generates additional costs. Taking care of data security not only protects your company from cyber threats but also builds customer trust in your brand.

The importance of unique content and blogging

A blog as an SEO strategy tool can take various and creative forms, tailored to your business profile and audience needs. Examples include step-by-step guides that not only solve specific customer problems but also demonstrate practical product applications. Industry articles, on the other hand, provide valuable knowledge and establish the company as an expert in the field. Inspiring customer success stories are a way to show the real benefits of using your products or services, increasing customer trust and loyalty.

Market trend analyses and industry forecasts can attract advanced users and professionals looking for in-depth knowledge. Appropriately chosen blog content can also include interactive elements such as quizzes, engaging users and encouraging them to stay longer on the site. The blog can also serve as a platform for sharing industry news, maintaining audience interest, and building the company's image as a source of current and valuable information. All these elements, combining substantive value with engaging form, contribute to improving the site's visibility in search engines and building a strong relationship with customers.

The last but not least aspect is the technical optimization of the site. In the case of marketplaces, many technical aspects are managed automatically, whereas with your platform, you need to take care of elements such as Schema implementation, Rich Snippets, or the appropriate header structure. Many stores decide to start SEO activities by cooperating with an external agency, which is recommended, especially if there are no internal competences in this area.

SEO and content marketing for your online store

A key aspect of SEO for own e-commerce platforms is unique content. It is crucial that the content presented on your site differs from that used on marketplaces. Unique content not only prevents duplicate content issues but also positively impacts the site's positioning in search results. This requires a creative approach to product presentation and creating original descriptions that will stand out and engage potential customers.

Greater opportunities for managing promotions and product offers

In terms of promotions, selling on marketplaces often limits to basic activities such as price reductions or occasional discount codes. Meanwhile, your e-commerce platform opens up a much wider range of promotional opportunities for sellers. This gives more freedom in creating strategies that can be more tailored to the needs and behaviors of customers, thus more effective.

Considering a platform like Magento 2 with popular module expansion, these possibilities become even more extensive. Magento 2 allows the implementation of various promotional actions, such as "buy two, get the third free" offers or threshold discounts when buying a larger quantity of products. These promotions not only encourage customers to buy more but also allow for more flexible price and offer management.

Besides standard promotions, Magento 2 also offers advanced cross-selling and upselling options. Cross-selling encourages customers to buy related products, while upselling to choose more expensive versions of products. These strategies are used on marketplaces, but you do not have control over them.

It is also worth noting the possibility of creating product bundles and grouping products, which allows offering personalized packages, increasing the attractiveness of the offer and the potential order value. Using these techniques in your online store allows for more effective utilization of customers' purchasing potential by enlarging carts, directly impacting revenue growth.

Using customer data to optimize sales on your platform

Another element to pay attention to is that marketplaces often limit access to detailed customer data, offering mainly order information. This means that sellers have limited possibilities for deeper analysis of their customers' behavior and preferences.

In the case of your e-commerce platform, the situation is completely different. Owning your store, you can implement tracking tools such as Google Analytics 4 (GA4) or Piwik Pro. These tools allow for collecting and analyzing data about user behavior on the site, including purchase paths, pages they visit, and their interactions with various elements of the site. This enables better understanding of the needs and preferences of those visiting your online store.

Thanks to the acquired data, you can optimize your site and marketing strategy. For example, by analyzing which products are most often viewed and which are less frequently, you can adjust the displayed offers or improve the visibility of individual products. This data also enables creating more targeted advertising campaigns that respond to customers' specific needs. In this way, owning your platform provides valuable insight into consumer behavior, allowing for more effective and targeted marketing actions and enabling diagnosing problems affecting the conversion rate on your platform.

Competition and price war: how to stand out

Marketplaces, by nature of their operations, push sellers to participate in intense price competition. Often the lowest price becomes the key element attracting customers, which can lead to significant margin and profit reductions. This dynamic price war makes sellers constantly balance between price competitiveness and the profitability of their offer.

On the other hand, running your online store gives you greater control over your pricing strategy. Here, price is not the only deciding factor – equally important are product quality, customer service, offer uniqueness, and the added value your brand provides. For example, exclusive products or personalized services can justify higher prices, emphasizing their value to consumers. Good shopping experiences and building a strong relationship with the customer can result in greater loyalty and more frequent returns to the site, translating into long-term value exceeding the benefits of one-time transactions based on low price.

Owning your online store also provides a unique opportunity to build an effective loyalty program. These programs, individualized and tailored to your customers' profiles, can significantly outperform the standard options available on marketplaces. For example, you can reward customers for repeat purchases, offer special discounts for loyal customers, or create personalized offers based on their shopping history. These actions not only strengthen customer loyalty but also encourage greater shopping activity, building long-term value for your brand. The loyalty program can also be used to collect valuable data on customers' preferences and shopping behaviors, enabling even better offer and marketing communication adjustment.

Alternative sales models: subscriptions and innovations

Your online store enables exploring alternative sales models, one of the most popular being the subscription model. This model, once associated mainly with mail order clubs, has now become a common way of shopping online, especially in the category of digital services like Netflix, HBO, or Spotify. However, more and more e-commerce brands also base their business on this model.

An example of a company that has succeeded thanks to the subscription model is Dollar Shave Club, known for its funny commercials and great subscription idea. In Poland, the popularity has been gained by beGLOSSY boxes, offering attractive packages with cosmetic samples that combine a full-sized product with several samples, creating a valuable offer for young women. Another example combining classic sales with a subscription is Dafi, as you can read in another of our articles, and you can learn more about the subscription model here.

Additionally, your online store allows for the introduction of other innovative sales models that are difficult to implement on marketplaces. Opportunities such as product personalization, time-limited offers, or exclusive editions for subscribers allow creating unique shopping experiences and building stronger relationships with customers.

Paid campaigns and remarketing: control over your advertising

In the case of selling on marketplace platforms like Allegro or Amazon, sellers have access to advertising campaigns offered directly by these platforms. Moreover, these platforms often invest in external campaigns, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, though sellers do not have direct control over these actions. This limits flexibility in managing campaigns but enables reaching a broad audience thanks to the vast user base of these marketplaces.

On the other hand, owning your online store gives you full control over your marketing budget and choice of advertising channels. You can choose various strategies, not limited to promoting specific products. Experimenting with different approaches, such as advertising campaigns aimed at newsletter sign-ups or promoting blog articles that simultaneously advertise products, opens up new possibilities for reaching customers. This flexibility allows for adjusting marketing strategies to changing consumer needs and behaviors, maximizing the effectiveness of advertising activities.

Building and exploiting the customer base: email marketing and personalization

While PPC (Pay-Per-Click) activities can be applied similarly on both marketplaces and own online stores, significant differences appear in the use of the customer and subscriber base. Marketplaces like Allegro or Amazon treat customer data as their property and do not provide sellers with direct contact details for buyers, limiting further marketing communication possibilities.

In the case of your e-commerce platform, the situation is entirely different. By building a user base from scratch and collecting marketing consents, you gain direct access to a powerful tool like email marketing. You can use your customers' data to conduct personalized campaigns, retargeting, or creating campaigns based on similarities in shopping preferences. Access to this data allows for more precise and effective customer targeting, translating into increased profitability and marketing effectiveness.

When using the customer base, it is crucial to create personalized marketing campaigns that directly respond to your customers' needs and preferences. In such activities, it is worth reaching for marketing automation tools like, SalesManago, or Insider. For example, by analyzing customers' purchase history, you can create segmented promotional offers accurately matching their previous choices. Another idea is to use data to create newsletters with product recommendations that may interest a particular customer group. You can also create loyalty programs offering special discounts and promotions for regular customers, which not only increases the chance of repeat purchases but also builds long-term relationships with customers.

Synergy between Marketplaces and your online store

While the differences between selling on marketplaces and your platform are significant, there are also many synergy opportunities between these two channels. One key aspect is the ability to automate listing auctions on marketplaces directly from the management system of your store. Such integration not only saves time but also ensures better offer consistency.

Another important element is better stock control. Using a unified inventory management system, you can effectively monitor and manage product availability, regardless of whether sales are conducted through your platform or marketplace. This helps avoid issues with stock shortages or excessive inventory.

Additionally, building a common order processing hub allows for smooth management of sales and logistics processes. This enables more efficient order processing and better customer experience.

It is also worth noting that presence on marketplaces can be an effective tool for redirecting some customers to your online store. With a well-coordinated strategy, you can encourage customers who initially found your product on the marketplace to shop directly on your platform by offering them additional benefits such as better prices, loyalty programs, or exclusive offers.

How to start the process of building your e-commerce store?

At the beginning of the process of building your e-commerce store, it is crucial to conduct a detailed pre-implementation analysis. The analysis should include an assessment of the implementation scope, identification of technological needs, and cost estimation of the entire project. It is important at this stage to define specific business goals the store is to meet and understand the preferences and expectations of the target customer group.

The next step is to create a detailed project plan, including an implementation schedule, selection of appropriate technologies and e-commerce engines such as Magento 2, and planning the integration process with existing business and logistics systems. At this stage, it is also important to consider data security and compliance with data protection regulations (e.g., GDPR).

Summary: benefits of transitioning to your online store

In summary, transitioning from marketplace sales to your online store is a step that can bring numerous benefits to your brand. From greater control over pricing policy to the ability to build direct customer relationships and flexible marketing strategies – your e-commerce platform opens new horizons for your business. At the same time, leveraging synergies between these channels, such as auction automation or better stock control, allows for increased operational efficiency and better resource management. All this contributes to a comprehensive strategy that not only strengthens your company's market position but also provides better experiences for your customers.

Need e-commerce support? Contact us!

Schedule a free consultation with our expert.

Read also: